Australian great Ricky Ponting believes that Tim Paine and Cameron Green could form the biggest partnership of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar series on Saturday. He also highlighted Navdeep Saini's injury and Shardul Thakur's walkout a few overs before stumps on Day 1 as a major concern for India.
The unfledged Indian bowling line-up performed better than expected and sent the top order packing with manageable damage. However, skipper Paine and youngster Green stuck around and weaved a counter-attacking 61-run partnership. The duo comfortably saw-off the tricky seven overs with the new ball.
Talking to cricket.com.au, Ricky Ponting said the pair has laid the foundation for a big first-innings total.
"It could be the biggest partnership in the series. One-one going up to Brisbane, Labuschagne and Wade put on a 113-run partnership but both got out soon after that. Australia needed Paine and Green to do what they've done and really steady the ship, then try and push on for a really big first-innings score," said Ricky Ponting.
Batting conditions tomorrow morning will be the best in the game: Ricky Ponting
Saini suffered a groin strain during the match and was taken for scans. Thakur, on the other hand, looks drained after a debilitating day on the field and walked off the ground just before the new-ball was introduced.
Ricky Ponting said India's incessant injury concerns could mean that Saturday morning will be the best time for the Aussies to put some runs on the board.
"The fact they got through the new ball tonight was really pleasing for them and it looks like Saini is in real doubt. Shardul went off late in the day as well so India could only have the three bowlers tomorrow," noted Ricky Ponting.
"The batting conditions tomorrow morning will probably be the best in the game. These two, if they can then go on and turn this into a 100-run partnership first, and then stretch it out past that, then I think Australia will be in the driver's seat of the game," said Ricky Ponting.
The Gabba wicket seemed to have some movement in the air along with the quintessential bounce. The average first innings total in the ground is 337 runs and the first hour of Saturday with the new ball will be crucial for both teams.